#hearLDSwomen: The Letter I Wrote to My Area Authority About My Stake President and Bishop Was Sent Back to My Stake President Who Called My Husband and Bishop in for a Meeting About My Letter Without Me
I had a number of problems with a previous bishop. I had gone to the stake president multiple times and was ignored. It finally got to the point where I wrote a letter to our area authorities, which got send to the presidency of the seventy. I received a letter back from the presidency and it of course, got sent back down to the stake president. My husband was called into a meeting with the stake president and the bishop. When he got there he found out the meeting was about MY letter. I wasn’t invited to the meeting, nor was I ever contacted about it. It still to this day makes me so angry whenever I think about it.”
– Jayme Harker
I was not contacted or included in any of the interviews for my son’s baptism. My husband, who my bishop knew was being investigated for child abuse, was. My husband performed the baptism and my bishop didn’t even ask how I felt about it. I wasn’t ok with it. The worst part is I really really like my bishop. His wife is one of my best friends and he is a good husband and father. And I did tell him after how upsetting it was. He was truly apologetic and had no idea I felt that way and wanted to be included in those things. I’m sure my husband had a part to play in that, but it doesn’t change that it hurt and didn’t feel right.
Similar situation to Anonymous when my grandson was ready to be ordained to be a Teacher. His parents were divorced and he felt a lot of animosity toward his father because of the way he had treated his mother. He was extremely close to my husband, his grandfather, who had been a positive role model for him. He asked my husband to ordain him at our home because my husband was dying of cancer and was too weak to come to church. But my grandson’s desire was overridden by the handbook which stated that his father should do it. After a lot of hassle that our family didn’t need at that time, his grandfather was allowed to do it. But only if his father could be present. (Did I mention that his father was the finance clerk at the time and tight with the bishopric?)”
– Cherie Pedersen
I reported my YSA bishop for engaging in grooming behavior with the young sisters in the ward. When I spoke with the stake president he listened and took it seriously (this was a win!) — however, he was very clear that my role in the process was over. “I’ll take it from here.” I was not allowed to have any follow up information or verify that anything has been done. Why? Because I wasn’t a priesthood leader.
I contacted my stake president to follow up on what, if anything, had been done. He was again genuinely kind; and I was again reminded that I would always be cornered into this kind of exchange, with a man as the intermediary between me and the information I want.
All things considered, it’s been a positive interaction. He listened and took (some) action. I just can’t bring myself to be glad about it. Even in the best of circumstances, I am still required to operate under the authority of a male leader. Where is my authority? I have not yet seen it recognized.
– Carmen Sophia Cutler
Pro Tip: Consult women before their dependents receive priesthood ordinances and be very sensitive in cases of abuse.
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)